How to Make Cranberry Orange Relish with Pecans

by Jennifer Farley ; Updated December 21, 2015

This cranberry orange relish with pecans is a wonderful side dish to serve at holiday meals. It can be made several days in advance, and it freezes exceptionally well. In addition to the holidays, this relish is an excellent condiment to serve alongside fish, red meat and grilled chicken. It also makes a light, healthy snack!

Gather Your Ingredients

This recipe allows for a bit of flexibility. Naval oranges are a good choice, but when in season, blood oranges are a fun twist. Use what you have. The same goes for clementines versus tangerines. Either will work in the recipe, so buy whichever one is readily available. They are slightly sweeter than oranges, and add another dimension of flavor to the recipe.

Clean and Pick Through the Cranberries

Thoroughly wash the cranberries in a colander, and then remove and discard any white, unripe berries, as well as any berries that have gone bad.

Peel, Segment and De-seed the Citrus

The white pith surrounding citrus flesh can have a bitter aftertaste, so remove as much as possible, as well as any seeds. Quarter the oranges and divide the clementines or tangerines into segments.

Pulse Cranberries and Citrus in a Food Processor

In batches, pulse the cranberries and citrus together several times until they have been chopped (but not pureed). Place the mixture in a large bowl and set aside.

Chop the Pecans

Place the pecans in the food processor and pulse several times to chop (do not puree).


  • For added flavor and texture, toast the pecans for 5 to 7 minutes in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven before chopping them.

Combine All Ingredients in a Large Bowl

Fold the chopped pecans into the cranberry orange mixture; mix well. Add the sugar to taste, stirring to combine. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. This recipe yields approximately 8 cups.

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About the Author

Jennifer Farley is the creator of Savory Simple, a blog dedicated to gourmet food and quality ingredients. She graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine and has worked as a chef and cooking instructor. Her work has been featured by Parade Magazine, Williams-Sonoma, Bon Appetit and Food52. She resides in Washington, D.C.